A snapshot of recent news from sources around the world on the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war.
In addition to U.S. Abrams and German Leopard 2 tanks, Denmark, Germany, and the Netherlands are providing refurbished Leopard 1 A5s to Ukraine from industrial stocks. The Leopard 1 originally entered service in the 1960s and has since been replaced by the Leopard 2 in German service.
The U.S. confirmed details of a $2.175 billion aid package for Ukraine on Friday, February 3, comprising a $425 million drawdown of U.S. equipment and another $1.75 billion in direct aid for new weapons. The aid deal includes Ground Launched Small Diameter Bombs and equipment to integrate Western air and missile defense equipment into Ukraine’s air defense system. The U.S. will also continue to provide weapons seen in previous aid deals, such as High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) ammunition, artillery and mortar rounds, anti-armor missiles, counter-unmanned aerial system capabilities, air defense equipment, counter-mortar radars, and cold weather gear.
The United Kingdom announced plans to help train Ukrainian fighter jet pilots. The training would prepare pilots to fly modern NATO jets. British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak also said the U.K. would train Ukrainian marines and provide unspecified long-range weapons.
Russian forces have been regrouping and concentrating offensives around Kupiansk, Lyman, Bakhmut, Avdiivka, and Novopavlivka in Donetsk.
Russia continues to attack Ukraine’s cities and infrastructure. From early October to late January, Russia fired around 700 cruise missiles and Iranian-made attack drones at Ukraine’s power generation network. Among the systems used is the Iranian Shahed-136.
Romania has received the second Patriot air defense system from the United States. Romania is spending $3.9 billion for seven Patriot air defense systems.
The U.S. approved the sale to Poland of 18 M142 HIMARS launchers and related equipment. This deal is worth an estimated $10 billion. As part of this deal, Romania will receive 45 M57 Army Tactical Missile Systems (ATACMS).
The Polish military has deployed Patriot air defense missile batteries around Warsaw. Poland has been strengthening its defenses since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
A new wave of missiles hit Ukraine’s energy infrastructure on February 10. At least 17 missiles hit the southeastern city of Zaporizhzhia. The Ukrainian government is attempting to convince the European Union to provide additional weapons, including fighter jets.
Two Russian cruise missiles flew through Romanian and Moldovan airspace before entering Ukraine. Two Kalibr missiles had been launched from Russian warships stationed in the Black Sea.
British-supplied Harpoon missiles may soon see combat in Ukraine. The U.K. government is in discussions over providing the Ukrainian forces with Harpoon anti-ship and Storm Shadow strike missiles.
SpaceX has begun preventing Ukrainian soldiers from accessing the company’s Starlink satellite communications network. Ukraine has found creative ways to utilize the network with drones targeting Russian forces. SpaceX officials say the Starlink network was not intended to be weaponized, and that Ukraine’s methods went against the original agreement with SpaceX.
Reports indicate Ukrainian soldiers rarely launch HIMARS rockets at Russian targets without first receiving confirmed coordinates from the U.S. or its allies. This process could help prevent Ukraine from expending excess ammunition if it doesn’t have accurate coordinates. The U.S. is not involved in the target selection process and does not determine whether to approve a target.
Ukraine scored its first successful strike against a Russian BMP-T Terminator fighting vehicle. The BMP-T escorts tanks to protect them from infantry.